Given its sparse population, it’s no coincidence that most of Mongolia’s beautiful expanse remains in pristine condition. Although much of the sprawling landscape consists of the Eurasian Steppe, it borders both the Gobi Desert and three separate mountain ranges. This allows travelers to experience untouched nature in a range of interesting and unusual scenery. If you’re more interested in Mongolia’s urban sites and sounds look no further than the capital of Ulan Bator; home to 45 percent of the Mongolian population.
Here are a few travel highlights for adventurers who love travel photography like us:
Camel & Horseback riding is still one of the best ways to experience Mongolia. Horses will suffice for the Eurasian Steppe, but the Gobi Desert calls for hardier beasts of burden. Distinguishable using their two humps, Bactrian camels provide comfortable transportation through the sand dunes, which are one of the most evocative sights on the planet. Travel photographers will get tons of landscape shots. Just make sure you strap your gear on tight during the rides!
Naadam is an annual celebration from July 11th-13th at the National Sports Stadium in Ulan Bator. Expect to see athletes, dancers, and musicians participating in the opening ceremonies, before moving on to the main events of shooting, horse racing, and Mongolian wrestling. This event is a Mecca for cultural photography in Mongolia. In and around Ulan Bator lies the Gandan Monastery, famous for a statute of the bodhisattva Avalokitesvara that stands almost 100 ft tall while the Winter Palace boasts a collection of possessions belonging to the last Mongolian Khan.
Mongolia is still off the radar of most travelers bucket lists making it an incredibly authentic and untouched country to explore. Our travel club hopes to put together a group tour here soon before the rest of the world finds out what they’re missing!